The concept of gamifying products and services came into being when marketers realised that loyalty programmes are becoming too banal to retain consumers. A number of leading brand names, including Hungama, Zapak, Adobe and Microsoft, have used the concept successfully to create a habit of their product amongst users.
Microsoft created a unique gamified tool that allowed users to learn the new MS Office applications and earn rewards, thus making the whole process interactive.
While marketers have been applying gamification dynamics effectively, they tend to make a few tactical errors, which include turning anything into a ‘game’ or relating everything to badges. exchange4media takes a look at a few elements that marketers need to keep in mind to make sure that the penny invested in gamification does not turn into technical or marketing faux pas.
Long-term approach: Gamification is primarily used to retain consumers and thus, needs to have a long-term approach so as to form a habit amongst the users. Gamifying does not imply creating short-term contests which offer rewards. Services and brands should be gamified in a manner that it compels users to use it repeatedly and create a status.
Do not ignore the complexity of the concept: Gamification goes far beyond rewards and badges and thus, marketers need to be aware of the serious engineering that it requires. Marketers should be ready to invest the kind of time and money required to get the concept right. Gamification aims at bringing the audience back to the brand in a fun way.
Sensible content: Gamified content picks up faster, not just because it is gamified, but because it is rooted and sensible. Marketers need to give out the right content which is worth being gamified. The content should not be created with the thought that it will be picked up because it is gamified.
Keep it simple: Gamification or any other high-end technological marketing tools possess the threat of overkill. Complexity of the features and resulting data can be confusing for both users and the marketers. Thus, creating gamified applications that are easy to understand, use and enjoy should be created.
Integrate with social: Connecting gamification to social gives users an opportunity to share their rewards and achievements in their clan, thus adding the virality and prestige factor. Give users options such as ‘Share your recent win’ or ‘You won 10,000 points, would you like to tweet or share?’
With the increasing amount of importance been given to retention of consumers, gamification is bound to increase in importance. Correct usage of the concept can help marketers make the most of this concept.
With inputs from Vineet Gupta, Managing Partner, 22Feet and Sandip Maiti, Founder & CEO, Experience Commerce
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